The Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) group Stock Market for Beginners went live Oct. 15, 2020. Tony Szymanski was named an administrator in the group last December, when its membership was at 900, but he hardly pretends to be a lifelong expert in investing.
“I grew up in a lower income family,” Szymanski said. “I never really had a lot of money. In my early 20s I was buying gas with spare change, and I realized I needed to take control of my finances.”
Szymanski studied economics in college, where he took his first literacy course. He said he was able to save his first $10,000 by the time he reached 27 and open a 401(k) account, but it wasn’t until he reached 32 that he made his first stock purchase.
“The first thing I ever bought was Ford (NYSE:F),” he said.
Now 34 and working as a quality control officer in the aerospace industry, Szymanski sought to share his newfound knowledge of investing with as many people as he could. He teamed with his brother Andrew on “The Stock Bros Podcast,” which debuted last December.
“We wanted to help people learn financial literacy and teach people how the stock market works and how to invest wisely,” he said. “We’re not necessarily giving any recommendations on what to buy, but we just want people to understand how it works, the terminology and what-not.”
While looking for Facebook groups to join as a means of both self-education and self-promotion of the podcast, Szymanski found Stock Market for Beginners.
A conversation with group founder Johnny Margarito, a manager at Wisemen Traderz in Albuquerque, New Mexico, led Szymanski from being a quiet observer to a hands-on administrator.
See Also: Benzinga’s Market Education Portal
Signs Of The Times: During the last four months, Stock Market for Beginners’ membership base expanded significantly as investment-related news dominated the headlines, particularly how Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum gave GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) a degree of prominence that stunned the traditional chieftains of Wall Street.
Many new members joined the group seeking greater insight into these developments, especially when it came to the alleged ease of instant riches via stock trading.
“The biggest mistake that people are trying to make is they’re trying to get rich quick,” he said. “They see all these news articles, they see people on Reddit posting pictures of their portfolios, where they’re making a couple or hundred or thousand dollars in a day or two. So, they think that they can just come in and start doing that as well.”
Szymanski sees the group’s mission as separating information from frenzy, particularly when it comes to the investment sector’s equivalent of bright shiny objects.
“We try to get people to avoid jumping on the Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) hype, the AMC and the GameStop, and stuff like that,” he continued.
“People don’t educate themselves before they start buying…